Queen’s Medical Students partner with CoverContraceptiON

‘Contraceptive care is a health and human right’

CoverContraceptiON is paving the way for inclusive and no-barrier access to contraceptives.

CoverContraceptiON is paving the way for Ontarians to receive complete access to contraceptives.

Sarenna Lalani, Med ’23 and community team member of the Kingston branch of the organization, is one of many Queens’ Medical students involved in the organization’s efforts.

According to Lalani, there are many barriers facing Kingston residents regarding contraceptive care: cost, access, and a lack of welcoming spaces for gender-diverse groups.

“People who are making enough to be disqualified from any social assistance but aren’t affluent enough to pay out of pocket for contraceptive care are the people that fall through the cracks,” Lalani said in an interview with The Journal.

CoverContraceptiON has been conducting surveys to better understand reproductive healthcare in Kingston.

“While OHIP+ has seemed to help younger Kingston audiences—particularly students—many middle-aged individuals are still left without financial aid, which is extremely unfortunate,” Lalani said.

When individuals can’t access necessary information about contraceptive care, they’re increasingly more likely to suffer a lack of access to contraceptive products and resources.

“Specialists, who may be the most qualified to provide this care, often have long waitlists, leaving patients with few options to turn to,” Lalani said.

CoverContraceptiON has worked closely with Dr. Waddington, an obstetrician at Kingston General Hospital specializing in contraceptive cases, in creating a plan to serve the needs of the Kingston community best.

“Free abortion care and unpaid access is our biggest concern,” Lalani said.

Walk-ins and urgent care become the main option for Kingston residents seeking care without financial security. According to Lalani, these sources are difficult to work with when patients need follow-ups from physicians.

“Gender-diverse populations are faced with services that can be emotionally triggering and can often feel additional stigmatization while accessing contraception care,” Lalani explained.

According to Lalani, the name “Women’s Clinic” for obstetrical and gynecological needs at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) is unrepresentative of all individuals with cervixes. It can create an unwelcoming image of the resource for those who aren’t women.

“Currently, the clinic is in the process of changing its name to be more inclusive for people seeking care,” Lalani said.

“Contraception care is a health and human right.”

Students seeking contraceptive care can do so through Student Wellness Services or the Kingston Women’s clinic at the KGH.

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